An Atlanta City Council member running for mayor who had voted to withhold $73 million from Atlanta’s police department budget had his SUV stolen in front of him on Wednesday.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 27, 2021
According to the police report, on Wednesday Brown had parked and exited his 2016 Mercedes 450 —which has keyless push-to-start ignition — to speak to community leader Ben Norman when “several males entered his unlocked car and drove away with it.” Brown told police four children no older than 12, with the youngest roughly 6 or 7 years old, piled into his car.
Norman stated, “We tried to go there and maybe try to get the kid out of the car. So, I’m like, what do you do to a kid, right? He had already starting figuring out…I mean they had plans, they knew what they were going to do. He hit the gas and he pulled out, peeled out, and took off,” as Fox5 Atlanta reported.
“One kid was in the driver’s seat. Ben attempted to open the door to get him out of the car. He fought with Ben. I then engaged and tried to get him out of the car. The three other kids were trying to figure out how to get in the car or stay out of the car. He started to hit on the gas. Ben let go,” Brown said, adding, “As he started to speed up, and I knew that if I had not let go, I knew I probably could have killed myself because he was going so fast, I would have started to tumble. And I would have hurt him.”
“The councilman was also among the seven councilmembers who voted in support of an ordinance to withhold $73 million of the Atlanta Police Department’s budget until Bottoms’ administration drafted a plan to reinvent the culture of policing in the city,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote of Antonio Brown, who was elected to the Council in 2019.
Brown said at the time, “We all love our brothers and sisters that work tirelessly to keep our community safe. But we must do the work together to reimagine public safety. I’ve been speaking to the young people. These young people feel so disengaged from you guys. This is our opportunity to show the community we hear them, that we’re not just responding with our words, but by our actions, that we don’t just hear them, we see them.”
Finance Committee Chair Jennifer Ide stated, “It’s not just necessarily that there are police officers, a few people who aren’t following the rules. It’s that we need to think about what the rules are, and we need to think about where our allocation is.”
Brown himself is under indictment on federal fraud charges. “Prosecutors said the councilman lied about his income on applications to obtain loans and credit cards used for personal purchases,” the Journal-Constitution reported.
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